It’s Easy Being Green

Mount Sinai is in the desert. The day Moses received the Torah there, however, it burst into lushness. On Shavuot, we garnish our homes in greenery and flowers as a reminder of this miracle. Luckily for us, it’s much easier to festoon our homes with flowers than it is Mount Sinai. Here are a handful of decorating ideas for your Shavuot dinner table:

  • Fill tiny clay pots (available at craft stores) with plants of your choosing, write or stencil your guest names on the front with a gold marker, and use as place cards
  • For a kid-friendly, edible centerpiece project, grow a tray of wheat grass and arrange whole fruits like peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, and cherries on it to symbolize the harvest. To grow wheat grass:
    • Fill a tray or low bowl with soil
    • Spread wheatgrass seeds on the surface (available from garden centers and some health food stores)
    • Wait two weeks for it to grow…and there you go!
  • Transform your linen napkins into blooms by folding them like a fan and tucking them into the water glasses (empty, of course, no water required for these posies)
  • Garnish your dinner plates or salads with edible flowers (available in some specialty grocery stores, mail order catalogs, and from the Web). Some to try: Daylilies, Pansies, Nasturtiums, Roses, Sweet Violets, and Squash flowers
  • Sprinkle sugared rose-petals on or around your Shavuot cheesecake or blintzes. To make sugared rose petals:
    • Dip rose petals, one by one, into a lightly whisked egg white (important: use only pesticide-free rose petals)
    • Coat each side of the petal evenly with castor sugar
    • Set out to dry on parchment paper or a baker’s rack for at least a day
  • Browse through wedding magazines for other decorating ideas. They’re an inspiring way to keep anyone’s imagination…fertile

Shavouth Shopping List

  • Candles
  • Challah (or ingredients to make own, such as yeast, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, flour)
  • Grape juice and/or wine
  • Gefilte fish
  • Horseradish
  • Salad and salad dressing
  • Ingredients for first course, such as soup
  • Ingredients for main course
  • Ingredients for side dishes such as rice or pilaf
  • Ingredients for dessert, such as blintzes
  • Condiments
  • Cooking spray
  • Tea and coffee
  • Flowers or other supplies for centerpiece